Affordable Housing Coming to Champaign's Southwest Side

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CHAMPAIGN--Affordable housing is coming to an affluent Champaign neighborhood and now that construction is underway, residents are reacting.

For some living in Champaign's Turnberry Ridge subdivision, bulldozers were the first sign that change is coming to the neighborhood, even though the project has been in the works for years.

"It was a little bit shocking with the area that we're in," said Melissa Ward, a resident at the Crowwood Point Apartments.

An area where the cost of rest is above average. But once 160 apartments at the new Providence at Thornberry complex are complete, only 26 of them will be leased at market value, ranging from $765 to nearly $1200, depending on the size. The rest will be subsidized for those making less than 60 percent of the median income. For a family of four in Champaign County, that's $40,080 a year.

"On one hand I think it's a good opportunity for those individuals that need some assistance," said Richard Sallee, who also lives at Crowwood Point, which is across the street from the new development. "On the other hand it will bring a lot of traffic to this area, there's not that much traffic. It's actually pretty quiet."

"I liked the location out here, away from the hustle and bustle," said Ward. "Kind of wary about what's going to be happening and who's going to be around."

All applicants will have to pass credit and criminal background checks. Developers at The Benoit Group, the company building and managing the complex, tell our partners at the News-Gazette that security equipment will surround the site. Nearby neighbors say only time will tell how it impacts their own homes.

"I don't know if we're going to stay in this area in particular or go to a different area," said Sallee.

Calls to The Benoit Group were not returned Wednesday.

Construction is expected to take up to 18 months to complete.
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